Tag Archives: Montana

Sunset by Rail

A sunset in Montana, while riding Amtrak’s Empire Builder.

Camera: Leica M3; Film: Kodak 35mm, Ektar 100


Custer National Cemetery

Bighorn County, Montana


Custer National Cemetery

These are from a past Rover Roadtrip.

Big Sky Country.

The head stones, just like the plains of Montana, seem to go on forever.

I remember it was a hot, dry, spring day, on this visit to the Little Bighorn Battlefield.


Indian Memorial Sculpture at Little Bighorn

Camera: Kodak 66; Film: Kodak 120 T-Max 100


6 Years Ago

The Rover in Montana
The Rover after pushing through a blizzard near Flathead Lake, Montana

It was six years ago, when The Rover & I traveled through the portal and back into Montana, en route to Mexico’s Yucatán Peninsula. I could use a good, long-distance road trip now, as much as I did then.

The man (& Rover) need a plan.


Generations Past; Oil on Canvas

“Few places in this world are more dangerous than home. Fear not, therefore, to try the mountain passes. They will kill care, save you from deadly apathy, set you free, and call forth every faculty into vigorous, enthusiastic action.”

—John Muir, “The Mountains of California”

Painting of Lolo Pass: “Generations Passed” – Oil on canvas by John Potter


Jefferson River

Jefferson River

August 4th, Sunday, 1805

“Proceeded on verry early and Brackfast at the Camp Capt Lewis left yesterday morning; at this Camp he left a note informing that he discovered no fresh Sign of Indian &c.  The river continued to be crouded with Islands, Sholey rapid & clear; I could not walk on shore to day as my ankle was Sore from a tumer on that part.  The method we are compelled to take to get on is fatigueing & laborious in the extreen, haul the Canoes over the rapids, which Suckceed each other every two or three hundred yards and between the water rapid oblige [us] to towe & walke on stones the whole day except when we have poleing; men wet all day, Sore feet, &c, &c.”

———————William Clark

 

Monday August 5th 1805

The river today [Capt Clark] found streighter and more rapid even than yesterday, and the labour and difficulty of the navigation was proportionably increased; they therefore proceeded but slowly and with great pain as the men had become very languid from working in the water and many of their feet swolen and so painfull that they could scarcely walk. At 4 p.m. they arrived at the confluence of the two rivers where I had left [another] note. This note had unfortunately been placed on a green pole which the beaver had cut and carried off together with the note; the possibility of such an occurrence never onc occurred to me when I placed it on the green pole.  This accedent deprived Capt Clark of any information with ripect to the country, and supposing that the rapid fork was most in the direction which it was proper we should pursue, or West, he took that stream and asscended it with much difficulty about a mile and encamped on an islandthat had been lately overflown and was yet damp; they were therefore compelled to make beds of brush to keep themselves out of the mud.  in ascending this stream for about a quarter of a mile, it scattered in such a manner that they were obliged to cut a passage through willow brush which leant over the little channels and united their tops.”

———————-Meriwether Lewis

From The Journals of the Lewis & Clark Expedition

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“Above its junction with the Madison, the Jefferson wanders, staggers, and crankles, flushing half its waters askew, the other awry, and throughout its upper and lower miles manifests little urge to go anywhere other than sideways; when it’s not hunting a new route or sending one channel off in search of two others, it will flow properly just long enough to fool a boatman.  In short, it is the little Jefferson that puts the mischief into the big Missouri, and, like its descendant, it seems always to ask ‘Where am I?’ although it stays not for an answer.”

———————William Least Heat-Moon, “River-Horse”  c1999


Montana Campsite

Deadman's Basin

Here’s a shot from Deadman’s Basin as the sun set.  The camera did a good job of actually catching the deep blue of Montana’s sky that night.


Lolo Pass

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10 May 2013

I think I could just drive and drive and drive, checking out all that the American West has to offer. I never tire of the exploration out here.
A beautiful drive through the Helena Natl Forest. I’m thoroughly enjoying US Route 12. Today was my first visit to Helena. In all my visits to Montana I had never been to its capital. You have to love a city that calls one of the main drags: Last Chance Gulch. Not to mention, N Last Chance Gulch.

Did a quick pit stop in Missoula, before driving south to Lolo. I just love this part of the state, and the land along Lolo Creek looked like a great place for a cabin. The creek was high though, and I saw a couple of newly installed tubular levies put up to keep the rising water from homes.

Lolo Pass is a phenomenal drive, even in the lumbering Rover. I kept stopping at all the historical markers, which there are many, simply because I knew most would be about Lewis & Clark.
Coming around a sharp curve, I found a new Fiat 500 broadside to my grill. The 500 driver must have been “testing” the Fiats handling, as he swept his way around the curve and sideways into my lane and The Rover. I braked, but there wasn’t anywhere else to go, so I watched uneasily as the Fiat smoothly righted itself and zoomed off with only inches to spare.

It’s hard to be angry when you’re envious.

On the Montana side of the Forest, all access was still “Closed for the Season”, but Idaho wasn’t as soft. Maybe it was all for the best, because I’m camped at the best site I’ve had so far on this trip. The Lochsa River is roaring right behind my camp. In fact, I’m writing this now as I sit in my campchair on its bank.
We had rain & hail earlier as I grilled dinner. The sky has since cleared, and a thick mist has formed over the torrent of the Lochsa.
I think I’m going to sleep very well tonight.